Year: Senior Graduation Date: May 2014 Major/College: Neural Science/CAS Research: Undergraduate Assistant in Joseph LeDoux Laboratory, 11th Floor of Meyer
The LeDoux Laboratory is dedicated to studying both the biological and psychological aspects of emotional memory, centered in the amygdala. The post-doc I specifically work alongside focuses on a phenomenon known as PIT, Pavlovian to Instrumental Transfer. For example, a rat is fear conditioned to associate one cue, i.e. a light, with a response, i.e. a shock. Then, it is trained instrumentally, meaning a response performed by the rat itself results in some type of outcome. Here, the response is a shuttle, and the outcome is a delayed shock. PIT assumes that if the rat is placed in a chamber and a light cue is initiated, it will shuttle in order to avoid the shock response (but no shock is actually given). Other experimental mechanisms, such as extinction and reinforcement, are also incorporated into the studies to study memory retrieval and habit formation.
Activities: Member of The Society of Undergraduate Neural Science; Member and Panhellenic Delegate of the Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity; Commuter Student Liaison of the Faculty In & Of the City Program